Tag Archives: Stephen Milne

When The Cats Go Marching In! (2009 AFL Grand Final)

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PremierCats

Wow – Geelong are good at this cup-lifting thing! Looks like they’ve done it before…

Holy crap – what a day! A massive audience, a classic match and even the pre-match entertainment didn’t totally suck…well, until the Jersey Boys got involved! Yep, a limp-as-a-lettuce-leaf rendition of the national anthem – won’t that inspire to football masses to buy tickets to their crappy stage show!

NormChapman

Chappy deservedly wins Norm…just don’t ask me how he did it!

Anyway, back to the footy and on a wet, cold day at the ‘G, it was Geelong that found their way to the front when it mattered to win a second flag in three seasons. On the verge of two straight grand final catastrophes, the Cats scored three goals to nil in the final term to earn the ultimate reward for their sustained excellence and become a truly great outfit. Look out, Lions!

HayesYells

How would it feel to lead most of the way in a Grand Final and lose? Lenny Hayes pretty much sums it up…

One of these teams was always going to feel unfortunate to miss out on the great prize. Few could have predicted just how devastating defeat would become for the Saints…particularly when things quite easily could have gone their way had they capitalised on their opportunities early.

BustedGoddard

Broken collarbone, busted nose, dream destroyed…hard to imagine anybody feeling worse than Brendon Goddard must have after the siren!

If there is any consolation for the St Kilda faithful, it seems to lie with the hard-line stance of the coach looking to ensure his club strives to improve and bounce back in 2010. The popular Max Hudghton won’t be back but it will be interesting to see if anybody else joins him on the sidelines…like little twerp goal sneaks who wear number 44, for example.

RookeMobile

Max Rooke claims himself some new wheels…might come in handy this week during the celebrations! Wonder if his psychic told him about this as well?

But enough HBF-style hardcore analysis…it’s time to wind down after a long season that again defied all expectations (and defied logic at certain stages) and let our collective hairs down! Then, maybe, we can start worrying about who will be the team to beat in 2010. Until then, may all your Mondays be Mad and your blondes a little better looking than this one!


When The Game Takes Over Our Drunken Idiot Coverage! (2009 AFL Grand Final Preview)

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drunkfev

We will now briefly focus on a football game before returning you to your regularly scheduled programming…which, apparently, is this guy!

Relax, people! Once Saturday’s game is over, we can go back to the main reason we all follow the game…what stupid Brendan Fevola up to now and what EVERYBODY ELSE thinks about it! Or maybe you’ve had enough of Fev and would prefer to talk about trades – where Shaun Burgoyne thinks he is going or where Brock McLean says he is going.

Perhaps you are stunned that Marty Clarke is choosing to go home or that Matthew Lloyd is choosing to stay home. But for now, the 2009 AFL Grand Final needs to take centre stage so you’ll just have to make do with that…

Not a bad consolation though…the two best teams in the comp are virtually at full strength (sorry Max fans!) and primed to present us with a fitting finale to the footy season. It’s going to be entertaining day and a great spectacle but, please, remember to behave appropriately. You don’t want to end up like Stupid Fevola (that is, a big blokey legend!), do you?

ST KILDA SAINTS

SaintsPlane

The secret to St Kilda’s success? Not catching swine flu from the filthy, germ-infested masses!

The dominant team of 2009 but not a clear favourite… a lack of respect or is this just history talking?

The Team
B:
Jason Blake, Zac Dawson, Steven Baker
HB: Brendon Goddard, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Farren Ray, Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo
HF: Andrew McQualter, Justin Koschitzke, Clint Jones
F: Stephen Milne, Nick Riewoldt, Jason Gram
Foll: Steven King, Leigh Montagna, Adam Schneider
I/C: Luke Ball, Raphael Clarke, Sean Dempster, Michael Gardiner
Emg: David Armitage, Jarryn Geary, James Gwilt

In: Dempster
Out: Robert Eddy

GEELONG CATS

AblettPolice

The secret to Geelong’s success? Police arresting anybody that goes within one metre of Gary Ablett!

The Team
B:
Darren Milburn, Matthew Scarlett, Corey Enright
HB: Tom Harley, Harry Taylor, Andrew Mackie
C: Joel Corey, Cameron Ling, James Kelly
HF: Jimmy Bartel, Cameron Mooney, Steve Johnson
F: Travis Varcoe, Tom Hawkins, Paul Chapman
Foll: Mark Blake, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett
I/C: Brad Ottens, Shannon Byrnes, Max Rooke, David Wojcinski
Emg: Shane Mumford, Simon Hogan, Mathew Stokes

No change

So…who wins this bloody thing? St Kilda made the one team change but it will not result in a fairytale send-off for stalwart Max Hudghton. Geelong are unchanged but have sterner opposition compared to last week. Hard to predict a winner with any great confidence; hence the call of a draw’ being quite popular.

For me, the deciding factor is simple…and probably a touch immature, but oh well. I just don’t want to see Stephen Milne win a grand final. The thought of that little twerp receiving a premiership medallion and whooping it up would ruin my entire year.

MilneSucks

For the love of God, do not let this twerp win a premiership!

If St Kilda did win and for whatever reason; concussion,  injury, diarrhoea; Milne was not involved at the end, I could live with that. If they could vote him off the podium and replace him with Robert Harvey, even better. But please Geelong..do not let this twerp win!!!

CATS by 22

Round Eighteen – Limping To The Finish Line

SimpsonOver

“Shit! It’s all over…oh well, never mind. Beer?

The business end of the 2009 AFL season is here and those teams that harbour finals and/or premiership aspirations are busy plotting their course for September. But for clubs that are struggling with injury and/or no hope of finals action, the last remaining weeks of the season will be tough work. But before these players start throwing in the towel to focus on what dress to wear on Mad Monday, they should spare a thought for blokes like Kangaroos veteran Adam Simpson.

SimpsonCalf

And TWAAAANG goes the calf muscle!!! At least Adam Simpson’s final ever training session was memorable…

Simpson announced his retirement early last week with his final game to be played on the Friday night against Carlton. Problem was…he injured his calf at his final training session, a mere 24 hours before the Roos were due to play! This didn’t stop Simpson from taking his place in the side and although Carlton managed to spoil the party, Simmo’s effort to play was clearly the highlight of the night.

OttensAlive

Hang on, that looks like…no, it couldn’t be…Yes, it is! It’s Brad Ottens playing football!!!

The mighty Geelong Cats may appear to be limping towards the finals yet they keep finding ways to win. But a rare Brad Ottens sighting was probably even bigger news than the victory – whether he plays in September, or just how good he will be, is still unknown but the Cats sure do need him!

RichoSidelined

Richo’s comeback game consisted of nine minutes of footy and a couple of hours of sitting around.

Is Matthew Richardson limping towards the finish line of his AFL career? His comeback game for Coburg in the VFL didn’t go so well and for a guy who is 34 years old, out of contract, coming off major hamstring surgery and playing at an unsuccessful club looking for a new senior coach, showing he can still play AFL right now is pretty damn important, yes? So when Herald Sun hack Mark Robinson rants about how Richo shouldn’t bother trying to play again in ’09 on Channel Seven’s AFL Game Day show on Sunday morning, what was the response from fellow panelist and former Tigers coach Terry Wallace?

RobboWallace

If only there was somebody with just the tiniest amount of knowledge about Tigerland that could help Mark Robinson understand why Richo needs to play again this year. Anybody? Anybody that might just be sitting next to him?? Anyone whose name rhymes with Jerry Schmallace???

Nothing! Nada! Zip! You could hear crickets in the background! When Terry is forced to explain why his time at Richmond went to crap, you can’t shut him up on how all the decisions at Tigerland (made by people other than him, of course!) contributed to his lack of success. But a situation with a guy he actually coached for four-and-a-half years and was directly involved in the decision on how Richo should approach his comeback (because he was the actual coach when the injury occurred) yet he has absolutely nothing to say about this? Is this why he just walked into media gigs within minutes of being sacked? How does this even happen???

KarmichaelKicks

Rugby league player Karmichael Hunt kicks that funny-shaped red football at Broncos training. Looks like he needs all the practice he can get…

But the club that is currently limping towards (or out of) the finals race which is the biggest surprise? Is it Hawthorn? Is it Essendon? No…try the Brisbane Broncos! They just copped the biggest hiding in their illustrious history and are in danger of missing the NRL finals…for the first time since 1991! But I’m sure the Broncos players are going all out to win and are not distracted with kicking AFL footballs at training because their young star is leaving the code to join the new AFL franchise on the Gold Coast. This kind of thing happens all the time…no, wait! It hasn’t happened before? Hmmm…

The Games:

PetrieShattered

Cheer up, Drew Petrie…at least you get to play another game next week! What about poor Simmo?

When Carlton play on a Friday night, two things usually happen – Robert Walls writes (yet) another article about the Blues and they get beaten. This time only one of those things happened…and there was no way Wallsy could write about anybody else! The Blues spoiled the Adam Simpson party though it was far from convincing or attractive. In fact, the Roos could quite easily have claimed victory and placed Carlton’s finals hopes in real jeopardy. They will probably make it now…but will they be any good once they get there?

JohnnoRecord

Brad Johnson claims the Bulldogs games record from Chris Grant…while that old bloke in the background is still pissy that he doesn’t hold it because he was sacked and forced to finish his career at Fitzroy!

It was Brad Johnson day for the Western Bulldogs and his teammates sure didn’t let him down. They didn’t let Lindsay Gilbee down either, standing up for him on what must have been a tough, tough afternoon! Fremantle weren’t too concerned with their lack of success at Whatshishead Stadium…as they have little success wherever they go!

CatsExcited

You think these Cats are happy about the win? Just wait until Cam Mooney joins in…he lurves a good man-cuddle!

The Adelaide Crows went to the regional centre of Geelong looking for a genuine footy scalp and a top-four spot. They almost got it…if only they knew how to stop those baldies! These Cats might be thin up top and down back for the moment but they are working together to earn wins and second spot behind the undefeated Saints is a great place for them to be.

ShatteredCrows

No four points, no big scalp, no long-term memory. Can somebody help these Crows take off their boots? They all seem to have forgotten how to do it!

DidakDives

Alan Didak takes an overly-dramatic dive to try and con a free kick from the umpires

rivaldo

…which was more reminiscent of Brazil’s Rivaldo than Aussie Rules…

DidakLoser

…yet the Brisbane Lions guy is a loser? Seriously??? Pot – Kettle!

With The Big Announcement and a ninth win from ten matches, Collingwood are back to their smart-arsy best and are setting themselves for the top four. The Lions looked primed for the upset after Browny’s accidental head clash left Simon Prestigiacomo groggy but the skipper struggled after the main break when he had anywhere between three and five defenders pushing back on him. If only Jono Brown had another big forward to help him out

KingShoulder

Um, your shoulder is probably not meant to do that! But, in typical St Kilda-2009 good fortune, Steven King was able to keep playing.

I tipped Sydney to knock off the Saints, ending the quest for The Perfect Season and possibly becoming the only tipster in Australia to pick all eight winners for the round. The Swans lost by one lousy point! And St Kilda’s season has been so outrageously blessed that The Age is now writing feature articles about that little twerp Milne!!! I’m so depressed…

MickeyOMiss

Mickey O misses a sitter that might have cost his side the upset of the season, and my perfect tipping round. Yep, thanks for that…

TigerSandwich

Jade Rawlings learns something new about Richmond in the dramatic win over the Dees…Nathan Brown prefers to be on top!

Dean Bailey could barely believe it…and neither could I! Richmond managed a great escape with the win over Melbourne courtesy of a goal after the siren from Jordan McMahon. Coach Rawlings knew that McMahon would be fine taking the match-deciding kick despite his regular displays of bad decision making…highlighted by his decision to leave the Western Bulldogs for Richmond two years ago!

RickyOAdelaide

Perhaps Channel Seven showed this match in ten-minute delay in case Ricky Olarenshaw’s head overheated during his hyper-speed quarter-time summaries!

There must be a logical explanation as to why Ch.7 would bother broadcasting the Port Adelaide-Hawthorn match into Melbourne with a slight delay…or is Adelaide further behind the time than we realise? Otherwise, we live in a world where dickheads like Kyle and Jackie O broadcast live when they need a delay (actually, they need new jobs!) but the biggest sport in Australia is not ‘live’? Crazy!!! Anyway, Port Adelaide won and find themselves in the top eight…well, for this week at least.

EaglesRookie

A first-gamer kicking goals to help the Eagles win? Forgive Callum Wilson for he knows not what he does!

What? The West Coast Eagles won? But aren’t they meant to be ‘tanking’? Well, yes…if you paid any attention to lazy hack journos who throw out the ‘T’ word willy-nilly with no substantial thought behind it. There is clearly a problem rewarding defeat with a priority draft pick but  when you lose by less than a kick in round 17, it’s not ‘tanking’. And when you beat a top-eight side (at the time of the opening bounce) to register a fifth win for the season, giving up your entitlement to the priority draft pick, it’s not ‘tanking’ either. Using the ‘T’ word inappropriately actually helps Andy D with his ‘media beat-up’ argument! Maybe those guys at the Herald Sun are just struggling a bit themselves…limping to the finish line, perhaps?

Round Seventeen – Oh So Bitter!

AfterSiren

Hawthorn thought they had the upper hand over rivals Geelong…until Bartel’s point after the siren changed everything!

Rivalry round. It kinda snuck up on us a bit…probably because the League didn’t seem to dedicate a lot of time on promoting the event. They did create a web page where you can spend lots of money on sponsors product that you either already have or don’t really need! So that’s something…I guess.

But, as you would expect, the footy did all the talking and the weekend delivered some outstanding games. Not always pretty, some downright ugly, but never boring! And the level of some of these rivalries has now intensified to greater levels after round seventeen action.

NeonLeon

No doubting who is number one right now in the Collingwood-Carlton rivalry. It’s Neon Leon and the Pies!

Geelong and Hawthorn added another exhilarating chapter to their playing history…but this time it was the Cats who got one over the Hawks. Sure, it wasn’t a grand final but a big win just the same. Collingwood got one over Carlton in one of the longest standing rivalries in the game. And while all the heritage-listed footy journos in Melbourne might scoff at the thought that the rivalry between the Crows and Power is the biggest right now, they may have a point. There was no talk about revenge in the lead up to Pies verses Blues…or ‘The Death Derby’! Only in Adelaide…

DogsBench

Whoops! Scott Welsh’s screw-up made the Doggies interchange bench a very intense place to be…

That long-standing rivalry between modern technology and a footballer’s brain came to the fore on Saturday night when failure to read a magnetic whiteboard resulted in 19 Western Bulldogs starting on the ground in the final quarter! The battle between player and umpire also intensified with Hawk coach Alastair Clarkson wondering whether Buddy Franklin will receive a free kick any time soon. And the League flat out refuses to concede defeat in the battle for respectability in the football world regarding the priority draft pick system. Andy D is not afraid to take on his rivals in this one…but there are so damn many of them, would he even have the time?

MaherStuffup

This post-match interview was TV so bad that you couldn’t look away…so expect Channel Nine buy it and make it a 20-episode series!

But our favourite new rivalry was started by an innocent but talkative boundary rider after the Cats-Hawks game…it’s Cancer verses Depression! Channel Ten’s Andy Maher conducted a highly awkward post-match interview with Geelong captain (for the day) Cameron Ling where he babbled on about the importance of playing for the BeyondBlue cup. But, according to Maher, BeyondBlue  are assisting in the fight against cancer! Ling did his absolute best to remain composed before correcting Maher that BeyondBlue is actually the national depression initiative! Ling then explained why it was such a prominent issue for people in Geelong right now! Probably not the best time to stuff that one up on live TV…

That was followed by an equally awkward presentation where the lady with the cup was completely ignored, only given a short “pass it over” command from Maher before she just wandered off…which Ling probably wished he could have done as well! Good to see that the rivalry between the footy media and the English language is still alive and well…

The Games:

MagpieMark

“Marriage proposal, wedding day, birth of a child…forget it! Marking the footy after a Collingwood goal will be the happiest moment of this Magpie fan’s entire life!

So, how is that top-four finish for Carlton looking now? And how could a story like that run in The Age and not be written by Blues lover Robert Walls? At least Wallsy is a realist…predicting that Collingwood would find more goal scorers and hold steady in defence against the Fev-focused Carlton. Spot on. It wasn’t pretty though and Brett Ratten should have plenty of kicking drills in mind for his boys this week!

BartelCelebrates

Geelong have won a shitload of games recently but they would have never celebrated a victory so much since grand final day in 2007!

James Bartel…you friggin’ beauty! Geelong come from 28 points down in the final term to beat Hawthorn with a point after the siren. The Cats may have injuries galore but wins like this can do wonders for their self belief. The Hawks may have let more than just four points slip on Saturday…the premiership defence might just have ended as well!

SandilandsMedal

211cm Aaron Sandilands…a tough assignment for opposing ruckmen and presenters-draping-medals-over-his-head alike!

Hard to believe that Fremantle could have a mental advantage over anybody but it’s starting to look that way with the Western Derby. The Dockers have now won five straight against the West Coast after winning a tight one by less than a kick. Apparently the win is a great indicator for what Freo can achieve in the future…yep, like we have never heard that about the Dockers! Still waiting…


MilneSucks

If this guy ends up a winner on Grand Final day, and it’s looking very likely, I will throw up a little in my mouth…

If, like me, you made the trendy pick of the Bulldogs to end St Kilda’s quest for The Perfect Season…then you must be feeling as stupid as I do right now! The Saints dominated early, weathered the storm in the middle and ran riot in the end. And now they are going to win every game on their way to the flag and that little twerp Stephen Milne will become…don’t make me type it…a premiership player! What a terrifying thought!!! Next game, quickly…

BrownyRules

Finals footy, Coleman medals…Jonathan Brown has missed out recently but is just about to get all that back again!

Jono Brown goes berserk with eight goals as the Brisbane Lions cruise past North Melbourne to pretty much ensure themselves a spot in the finals. Browny is now looking good for the Coleman medal having overtaken Brendan Fevola at the top of the goal kicking list – which would be a fair result considering one of those blokes tries his guts out every week and doesn’t sulk it up…and the other clearly doesn’t!

SydneyMelbourne

This is probably the highlight of the Sydney-Melbourne match…that there was a final score and it was over!

The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, or more generally New South Wales and Victoria, has been alive and well in all aspects of life, especially sports, for over 100 years…except for AFL footy! The Swans and Demons don’t have any semblance of intense rivalry – hence this match being played in front of a few thousand curious onlookers in Canberra. Sydney won, by the way…

TigersVictory

They blew it last week and they almost blew it this week too…but the Tigers finally get to belt out that kick-ass club song again!

It’s a Monday night, the last day in August, and the Essendon players will be pissed, tired, emotional and dressed up  in women’s clothing or whatever it is they do at the end of season party. If they start to wonder why they are not planning for an elimination final game that weekend, they have Sunday’s effort to thank! Richmond wins and they thoroughly deserve it…

BirdmanFlies

Hey, I remember you…you’re Brett “The Birdman” Burton!!! Welcome back.

The Adelaide Crows take the honours in the Showdown and become the toast of the town…much to the delight of a large majority of that town! A 70-point win, Brett Burton back doing what he does best, damaging Port’s chances at sneaking into the finals and the opportunity to laugh at Chad Cornes -Rivalry Round could not have been any more perfect for Crows fans.

Round Nine – Where It Was All About Aker…Again!

This round of footy was meant to be a celebration for these guys…

DreamtimeG

Instead, it ended up being all about this guy!

AkerSpotlight

So that was Indigenous Round. Well, you could have fooled me. The week of round nine should have been all about celebrating the likes of Andrew McLeod and the other 81 indigenous players who add so much to the AFL. Instead the focus was hijacked by ‘a senior Western Bulldogs player’ and round nine turned into a week-long soapbox for one individual who, despite his lofty achievements and rare skills, gives many people the shits.

Sure, 300 games is a great achievement and his standard of play is still very high…but he just doesn’t know when to shut the hell up! Which means, of course, that the Herald Sun felt obliged to give us ‘Aker Gold’ every damn day…and probably coughed up good dollars for the privilege of his ‘intellectual property’. Don’t think that Aker would spill his guts for free!

Give top billing to the many players that an entire round of football is dedicated to? Nah! Let’s focus on somebody who is starting to come across as sad and bitter, criticising the most respected figures in the game, will probably never be welcome at the club where he starred and will probably crack the shits with the Dogs when (not if…when!) he backflips on retirement plans and they cannot accommodate him. That’s another Aker public campaign to look forward to…

Anyway, despite a thrilling Friday night game between the Cats and Dogs, where That Guy did play a heck of a game, surely it was time to take an Aker-break? Of course not! The following night, right before Dreamtime at the ‘G, Before The Game spent more than half the show lauding That Guy and giving him a platform to show how ‘funny’ he can be…

ENOUGH AL-FREAKIN’-READY!!!

Looking forward to a Aker-free lead up to this week’s round of football…or is that too much to ask?

The Games:

CatsUnhappy

Um…you boys realise that you actually won the game? Would it kill any of you to give us a big smile? Geez – talk about ungrateful!

Geelong remain undefeated…but only just! Brad Johnson’s checkside kick after the siren could have won the game for the Bulldogs but he couldn’t produce the fairytale finish. The Cats survive a stern test without their only good key forward to win their 51st game in the last 54 starts…but hey, let’s all talk about Aker some more!

RonBurgundy

Look Veronica…it’s Melbourne’s best domed stadium ever!!!

Oh yes, Ron – do me on it!!!

Tuned into AM radio behemoth 3AW to get a progress score for the North Melbourne-Fremantle game and all I heard was some enlightening banter about how half the commentators didn’t even know who Ron Burgundy was and had never seen the movie Anchorman. So rather than listen to the rest of the match, I went to my DVD collection and watched Anchorman instead!

North Melbourne won, by the way…

McLeod313

Not only has Andrew McLeod played more games than Aker, the only person who really hates him is Lleyton Hewitt! But Aker? It would be quicker to name all the people that actually like him…

When you play the Crows  at AAMI Stadium, you don’t expect to be part of a massive goalfest. But come on Carlton… zero goals in the first half? Adelaide bring it home for new games record holder McLeod and the Blues may have lost more than just the four points…not good! We know they’re coming…we just don’t know when!

WallaceNewman

Is that kid presenting an olive branch to Terry Wallace and Chris Newman? And is that Craig Hutchison hiding inside his tracksuit top?

When Richmond were leading by two goals  late in the third quarter, did Herald Sun hack Mark Robinson, in some massive rush to be first with the news, publish an article online saying that the Tigers actually won Dreamtime at the ‘G? Did fellow hack Craig Hutchison report that Richmond had actually won, Mitch Morton finished with seven goals and that Terry Wallace was given a three year extension on his contract? No? Well, that’s why you don’t just f&!#@$g guess these things!!! Essendon blitz Richmond in the second half and make the Tigers sad…

CryingCub

Yep…that just about sums it up! Chin up kid, they’ll come good. Just don’t ask me when…

PiesRaffle

Dane Swan and Leon Davis await the draw for the raffle – winner gets to waltz in for an easy shot at goal. Leon had the winning ticket!

Things haven’t quite worked out for Collingwood in the twelve months since they hammered Geelong in that Friday night match in 2008. But they managed a nice win in the west against the Eagles on Saturday night. According to the WA press, the loss has put a massive dent into West Coast’s finals aspirations. West Coast had finals aspirations? Really?

GrundyScreamer

Heath Grundy with an absolute screamer!!! I wish that screamers were worth 50 points in Super Coach – then he might be worth keeping in my team..

Daniel Motlop’s You Tube video was the talk of the football world this week and had the Swans running scared! Well, they must have extended their defensive zone into the third row of the grandstand at the SCG because Motlop could only kick one goal as the Swans thumped Port Adelaide. Paul Roos feels his side is starting to gain some belief…well, at least they don’t believe every video they see!

LyonPress

Ross Lyon struggles with the reality that as his team keeps winning, he has to keep picking Stephen Milne!

If the aim for St Kilda on Sunday was to remain unbeaten…mission accomplished. If the other aim was to kick straight in order to remain unbeaten…well, maybe next week. The Saints needed some luck in the end to sink the Lions, particularly from that arsey bastard Milne, but Vossy was very pleased with his boys. Well, so he tells us…privately, he should be pretty pissed off!

RobboSmartarse

Has anybody ever failed to score from ten centimetres out in the goal square? Only a smartarse like Russell Robertson!!!

Are Hawthorn really starting to get its act together? Or did they just play Melbourne? Either way, the Hawks had little trouble against the Dees and even some kid with robotic knees did as he pleased! Dean Bailey is cursing his side’s horribly slow starts to games but if they wanted to to get one over Hawthorn, the answer would be easy…take over Tasmania!

No Major Surprises…Yet! (The Lost Weekend)

Yes, we’re in the prelim! One win away from the Grand Final! Woo hoo!!! All we need to do is beat…Geelong? Oh shit!

We are down to the final four teams battling for premiership glory and, according to both the ladder and the weekend’s results, the best four teams in the competition remain in contention for the flag. Despite our (wishful?) predictions on Friday, the Dogs and Saints made the most of their double chance to qualify for the preliminary finals, both of which will be played at night. While the League has generously resisted the temptation to schedule a night grand final, it seems that the compromise will be that every other important game will now be played in prime time.

It seems everything is hard earned in finals footy…and that includes the normally straight-forward player interchange!

The Western Bulldogs proved that they belong in the final four with a spirited win over Sydney, though they were forced to recover from an interchange blunder from Tim Callan, and will go into Friday night’s prelim against Geelong as clear underdogs. But the players feel they are a good chance at upsetting the football applecart…with Jason Akermanis (who else!) declaring the Cats as being too cocky to win the flag. Yep, that’s right – Aker calling somebody else ‘cocky’! It’s like Barry Hall ordering a team mate to keep his cool or Paris Hilton calling one of her gal-pals a slut!

That young Koschitzke assaults an elderly gentleman in full view of the general public. What on Earth is wrong with the youth of today? Bloody Generation Y…

St. Kilda went a long way to prove that their top four finish was no fluke by disposing of Collingwood in front of a big crowd at the ‘G and now face Hawthorn; who they beat earlier in the season so if there were to be a prelim surprise, it’s more likely to happen in this game than the Cats and Dogs! Skipper Nick Riewoldt, who starred on Saturday night, feels that the Hawks have put together a strong list that could dominate the competition for years. Which is exactly what most people have said about St Kilda for years now…and they have absolutely zip to show for it!

FRIDAY NIGHT

Bye Spida. Now Sydney need to find another beaten up old ruckman to take his spot. Oh look, here’s one!

Second Semi Final – Western Bulldogs 16.10.106 def. Sydney 9.15.69

Season 2008 is no longer worthless for the Western Bulldogs after disposing of Sydney in impressive fashion. After a tight opening half, the Doggies ran over the top of the Swans after the main break and earn the opportunity to be devoured by the Geelong juggernaut next Friday night. But Rodney Eade believes that his side is not quite done yet…but really, he’s just saying that because he has to!

Paul Roos may see plenty of good points about Sydney’s season overall but you can’t lose a final without tough questions being asked about the future of your team! But one of the positives for the Swans is that the football career of Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt has come to an end. Big Spida announced his retirement after the loss…but the way he played during the finals series, it looked liked he had already hung up the boots. Apparently he still had a role in that team…we’d love to know what it was!

SATURDAY NIGHT

Sure, they lost…but at least everybody in that room can now get away from that grumpy old Malthouse fella for a couple of months!

First Semi Final – St Kilda 17.4.106 def. Collingwood 9.18.72

We didn’t think that St Kilda would recover from the Geelong shellackingwrong! The Saints benefitted greatly from some straight shooting in front of goal; with Riewoldt kicking five in a dominant display, Koschitzke shedding off the Chris Guccione tag we gave him on Friday with three goals while Stephen Milne kicked three…but even if he kicked 20 goals, don’t expect any praise from us for that annoying little twerp!

It was a limp exit from a Collingwood side that peaked back in round nine when they flogged Geelong and dined out on that result for most of the year, especially when they dropped winnable games. But reality, and the loss of key players from everything from injuries to dirty lies, finally set in. The grumpy old coach refused to use any of this as an excuse for their performance but perhaps he should before fingers are pointed directly at him…which would be unfair considering his record.

Round 21 – Get Some AFL India!

Get ready for Mad Mondays in Mumbai!

It’s the middle of August and we are on the verge of another finals series. The administrative structure of the new GC17 franchise is (very) slowly being pieced together and the League has it’s eye on the promised land of young, impressionable families out in Western Sydney; just waiting for a major football code to win over their hearts, minds and wallets.

So…what is the logical step to take as we head towards an expanded national competition? You guessed it…play preseason games in India! Of course, we have already held a preseason cup match in Dubai this year where the big-wigs at Toyota and Air Emirates got to see how a little of their pocket change was being spent. Let’s hope they were impressed…

But it appears that there will be two preseason games held in India next year, most likely in Mumbai and New Dehli, as well as a match already organised in South Africa. And the clubs are lobbying heavily to be involved! Of course, there is no real danger of our indigenous game taking off overseas but what would happen if the AFL went global? What teams would leave our fine shores? And where would they go? Let’s find out as we embark on Get Some AFL India round!

FRIDAY NIGHT

Now that the Dogs are dabbling in high-altitude training, they would gain a nice ‘home’ advantage if they played in Nepal!

Telstra Stadium, Melbourne – 7:40pm (local): Western Bulldogs v Essendon (SEVEN)

DOGS by 41: Rodney Eade says that they are not paying attention to Essendon’s injury woes…but we doubt the addition of ‘old what’s-his-name‘ and ‘that young bloke‘ will be worrying the Dogs too much!

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

The finals-starved Tigers might take America by storm – they could play their home games in New York…on 9th Street, of course!

MCG, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Richmond v Fremantle (TEN)

TIGERS by 36: The Dockers are too busy working out who will chair off their numerous retiring veterans to be bothered with game plans!

Forget Debt Demolition…maybe the Demons relocating to Ireland is what Jim Stynes has in mind all along!

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide– 2:40pm (local): Port Adelaide v Melbourne (FOX)

POWER by 18: Dean Bailey may have some inside knowledge on Port Adelaide but the Power also have some info on Melbourne…like, they have won three games all year because they are not very good!

SATURDAY NIGHT

Viva Bris Vegas! Who wouldn’t travel to watch their team play away games if the Lions moved to Las Vegas?

GABBA, Brisbane – 7:10pm (local): Brisbane v Carlton (FOX)

LIONS by 19: Brisbane to stay alive for another week while the Blues will start looking ahead to 2009, when they add Daniel Kerrand Jeff White…and lots of other players that they shouldn’t be able to afford!

Collingwood are more than welcome to relocate to Dubai. They can start their own comp, win the flag every year and leave the rest of us alone…sounds fine to us!

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 7:10pm (local): Collingwood v Sydney (TEN)

SWANS by 25: This is more hope than logic…but we will back Paul Roos and his stable Swans to cock up the finals hopes of the confident Pies.

SUNDAY

Germany would be a great fit for the Cats…plenty of calves blood for Max Rooke and an endless supply of ‘piss, pork and porn’ for Billy Brownless!

Skilled Stadium, Geelong – 1:10pm (local): Geelong v North Melbourne (FOX)

CATS by 48: Forget the challenge from the Roos – the biggest threat to Geelong’s flag tilt would be if half the team ate a dodgy bratwurst!

Keen to gain any advantage, the Crows will base themselves in one of the world’s most intimidating and hostile environments…yep, they’ll just stay put in Adelaide!

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): St Kilda v Adelaide (SEVEN)

CROWS by 14: St Kilda’s farewell to Robert Harvey will turn sour despite the ‘miracle’ recovery from Stephen Milne…the real miracle being that he made it back to Melbourne at all!

Paris, Rome, Los Angeles…the Hawks would relocate to whichever destination made Buddy Franklin happy!

Subiaco, Perth – 2:40pm (local): West Coast v Hawthorn (FOX)

HAWKS by 21: Hawks to win but with Lance Franklin on 94 goals, hopefully the Eagles don’t let him kick too many…we want the Buddy v Fev shootout in Round 22!